By Rev. Harriet Bradley, 9to5 Atlanta Board Member, pictured here (center, in red) with Governor Deal and 9to5 citizen lobbyists
I never imagined that going for something to drink would cause me to be face to face with the Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal.
Every year I participate in 9to5’s Legislative Day because it gives me an opportunity to learn how to more effectively talk with my representatives as well as actually talk with members of the Georgia legislature. This year, after speaking with our representatives, we gathered for a debriefing outside Governor Deal’s office. One of the members of 9to5 wanted something to drink and we remembered that Georgia peanuts as well as Coca Cola products are available for people visiting in all the representatives’ offices as well as the Governor’s office.
As we were waiting for refreshments from the Governor’s office, I remembered that I wanted to share with Gov. Deal why I believe he should pass Medicaid Expansion for the State of Georgia. The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care), established these funds for low income people to gain help with getting insurance. Here in GA, over 630,000 people would qualify to have Medicaid for insurance under this Medicaid Expansion – with me being one of them!
Soon after we left the office, we saw Gov. Deal coming towards us. I immediately went up to him, shook his hand and shared my story with him. I asked him to please pass Medicaid Expansion. I shared with him that I was a minister but I was also working as a caregiver. When I told him what I was earning per hour, he moaned!! His reply to my request was to say, “thank you for sharing your opinion.”
I truly believe that the Lord provided the opportunity to share my story face to face with Gov. Deal so that he could put a human being with the numbers on a spreadsheet. My prayer is that Gov. Deal will now realize that expanding Medicaid in Georgia is not just about money being spent, but an investment into the lives of the people of Georgia whose income makes it challenging to pay for health insurance.